Posts Tagged ‘ Authority ’


There’s a country song out there by Emerson Drive called “Moments,” and in it, the reverberating chorus talks about how “I’ve had my moments” when he just rocked it.  The message of the song is simple: That homeless guy you walk by every day when you get off the train on your way into work…well, he wasn’t always homeless.  He is a person with actual accomplishments, family, relationships, and an entire history before you met him.  He’s had his moments of triumph, and the moment you met him may not have been his proudest, but homeless isn’t the only thing he’s ever been.  If the song was an old man serving hard-won life lessons on a silver platter, the lesson would be that it would serve you well to remember that.Image

I’ve liked this song ever since I first heard it, mainly because it reminds me to think hard about how I judge people, and how I act toward them myself.  And we all judge people…if you don’t think you do, you’re lying to yourself.  It’s built into our DNA, and the judgements we make are vital to our survival.  But it’s when our judgement becomes clouded by hatred, or distracted by bias, that it begins to work against us.  

In any case, I just had a “moment” myself, and it made me look inward at my own personal accomplishments.

I am part of this group of motorcycle riders on Facebook; most of the time, people post pictures of their bike in all of the great photo-op ready places they’ve been — mainly to enjoy and illustrate the freedom that riding a motorcycle can afford you.  I love it.  But this time, I noticed a question that a gentleman in the group had, where he noticed a spark plug lead that was connected loosely to the plug; when he connected it fully, he was impressed at the amount of “extra” power he got out of his engine, and asked what the cause could’ve been. I saw comments on the post from people who knew how engines work and from those who didn’t and guessed, and it really made me feel like I had a “moment” when I was able to explain that a loose electrical lead can make the spark plug produce a weak spark, which can lead to incomplete combustion inside the cylinder, which can lead to loss of power and wasted fuel (from the unburnt fuel leaving out the exhaust pipe).  

It isn’t that I felt superior, it’s more about the pride I felt at being able to explain the process to those who aren’t yet aware.  It was small, but it was a “moment” for me, and it is exactly what I envisioned when I became an aircraft mechanic at 22 years old.  My Dad could take a good shot at fixing anything, and I wanted to emulate what I so admired as a kid.  When you get into a career, you begin to slowly become an expert at it, and it’s only after you discuss the everyday things you do with those who aren’t aware of it that you begin to notice just how much you know.    

That happened to me, and I am not ashamed to admit that it was just as gratifying as I envisioned it would be a decade and a half ago.  

What moments have you had?  It’s okay to acknowledge them, you know…don’t be shy!


Is Physical Fitness An Indicator Of Success?

I’ve always thought that everyone should live how they want to live.  Who am I to judge them?  And further, who are they to judge me?

But just recently, as I was strrrretching myself back into working out on a regular basis, it occurred to me that I need a big, hairy, audacious goal to shoot for.  I began thinking about the studies I’ve read that say that in many cases, the lifestyle your close friends live is likely to be the one that you live.  I’ve been counting my blessings that I’m a social person, and thanks to Facebook, I’ve been drawing inspiration from people I never thought I would have:  Turns out that many of my old high school classmates are runner- or-triathlon-types, and I’ve been reading their struggles and triumphs through their Facebook updates.  And one day, it hit me:  They have achieved great things, but they’re not really much different than I am.  If they can do it, so can I!

There are many, many things to consider when going after your own personal fitness from nearly a dead stop (anyone have one of these?  I do…)…

But of all the benefits one could expect from working toward being at or near your peak fitness level, one of the greatest has been well-documented.  Increased alertness, more energy during the day, etc etc etc.  This link explains a few of the more commonsense ways that proper exercise and diet affect your workday. But what about the intangible effects?

It has been shown that the authority you wield as a fit person extends far past conversations about diets or workouts.  As a fit person, your opinion seems to carry a little more weight (ha!) than the flabby, unproductive guy’s opinion does, in some cases–simply by virtue of the fact that your lifestyle has taught you to divide large projects into bite-sized chunks, achieve a series of small goals while keeping your eye on the big picture, and above all (especially in business), produce results. These people have the ability to exert a subtle control over the group activities and discussions that they participate in–without either them or the group realizing it, most of the time, and it’s in the obviously different way that people tend to respond to extremely accomplished people.  This makes even your own coworkers respond to you as an instantly respectable person.  (Of course, we’ve all known people who were, “Perfect until he/she spoke,” so for now we’ll assume these people are all mutes.)

I know a few of these people, and am close friends with some of them–they’re into triathlons, marathons, martial arts, yoga–whatever it is, they have clearly defined muscles, and generally very clearly defined and concise parameters for how to achieve whatever success they strive toward.  These are people who you would look at and think, even if they lost their job, and all of their money, they’d still have their health and good looks.  (Come on, everyone has a little vanity to deal with…)

Does fitness indicate success?  Maybe not causally in a linear relationship, but it sure seems that once you’re fit, more opportunities come your way.  Here’s to taking on the Elephant, one bite at a time.

(No celebrity endorsement of Matthew McConaughey or kelly Ripa implied.)

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